The 22-year-old Burks, now in his third NBA season, has taken his game to a new level of consistency in recent weeks. He’s currently on the longest double-digit scoring streak of his career: eight games.
During that span, Burks has averaged 16.6 points in his sixth-man role. Though he’s shooting just 42.7 percent for the season, Burks has made 48 of 92 field goals (52.2 percent), including a blistering 9 for 13 from 3-point range, during this strong stretch.
He’s even averaging 2.8 assists, up from his season average of 2.5 per outing.
“I just feel like I’m being aggressive,” Burks said. “The shots are falling and my teammates are looking for me. That’s what’s happening right now.”
It certainly helps that he's playing 27 minutes per outing after averaging 15.9 mpg and 17.8 mpg first two years.
Needs to play more. Playing too good not to.
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said Burks is also beginning to evolve as a player, improving on how to pick his spots and not forcing quite as much as he’s so often done in the past. It's paying off. Burks' scoring average is up to 12.5 points per game after being right around 7.0 ppg his first two seasons.
He's getting more time and chances obviously though.
“He is an aggressive (player), by nature. … He’s an instinctive player,” Corbin said. “Play with your instincts. You don’t want to take that aggression away, but now tailor it.”
At times, that means the Jazz are fine with Burks taking gambles on his shots early on in games. But Corbin wants him to keep learning when to be less risky in crunch time.
“It could be the difference between winning and losing a ballgame,” Corbin said.
The Jazz are benefitting more often from Burks’ ability to slash to the basket and to make some off-balance, acrobatic shots at times. The athletic 6-foot-6 guard sometimes appears to have better control of his body in the air than he does while dribbling and driving aimlessly on the court at times.
But when Burks does connect, his high-flying, twisting layups can be spectacular, H-O-R-S-E-like shots.
“He’s a midair guy. He’s athletic. He has a good body on him. He can see things,” Corbin said. “He’s one of those guys that when they get in the crowd or they’re going into a crowd, he can see a little gap. He can make some tremendous shots off-balance with his left or right hand. He’s athletic enough to get in the air to get around guys."
There are times you see why Burks used to tease 2012 Dunk Champ Jeremy Evans that he was going to dethrone him.
There are also times you wonder why Burks is challenging 6-11 LaMarcus Aldridge and 7-footer Robin Lopez on consecutive possessions, resulting in wild misses, when his never-ending confidence overrides reality.
“It’s just reaction,” Burks said of his midair abilities. “Things happen. If somebody cuts you off, you’ve got to do something else.”
Though he’s glad to not have the point-guard duties anymore, Burks credited that opportunity in Burke’s absence for helping him better learn where all of his teammates are supposed to be during plays.
Now he can play like a shooting guard with a point-guard mentality.
“I know where everybody’s going to be at,” he said. “Know the spots to get to.”
Good to hear that he got something out of that.
Burks also isn’t about to complain about his playing situation. He’s made it known in the past that he wants to be a starter — like most NBA guys, really — but the former Colorado player is carving out a nice niche as that scoring spark off the bench for Utah.
Asked about not finishing a recent close home loss to Portland on the court despite leading the Jazz in scoring, he wasn’t about to criticize Corbin.
“I’ve been at the end of games,” he reminded the reporter. “I trust in Coach Ty and everybody else does.”
Before beginning this brutal stretch of seven of eight games being on the road — from Sacramento, to Friday night's Mile High matchup at Denver, to Miami, Memphis and more — Burks’ response oozed with the brief confidence media members have become accustomed to from this poised player with few words.
“Just play the same as we play at home, just play hard, fight and just keep competing the whole game,” Burks said while talking about how the Jazz can find success on this pre-Christmas schedule. “If we do that, we can win.”
It will certainly help if Burks keeps playing the way he has of late, including his 17-point outing in Wednesday’s 122-101 blowout win in Sacramento.
Now if everybody could just get his first name correct (it's not Alex) and not confuse him with Burke. As ESPN.com's Henry Abbott joked on Twitter on Thursday: "Serious Jazz issue: One mainstay of future has last name Burke. Another: Burks. Moms of Salt Lake City hoops fans don't stand a chance."
Rush and Corbin met Wednesday morning before the team’s game in Sacramento to talk about Rush’s frustrations.
"I had a good talk with Coach," the shooting guard said. "He let me know what the deal was."
Corbin’s message: "I just wanted him to play, play relaxed and play without apprehension."
Rush saw time again against the Kings and rewarded his coach by knocking down three of his four attempts from three, grabbing two rebounds, dishing two assists and coming up with a pair of blocks.
"I felt good out there," Rush said. "I just needed to find that groove."
"He looked good," the coach said. "He just played, man. That’s what we were looking for because he can help us. He can make shots. He can defend; he’s long. But we can’t have him be apprehensive about it, when to go or not go, because it throws the rhythm of all the other guys off."
He looks ready to start taking minutes from Jefferson.
Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray, all of whom arrived in California from Toronto a few days ago, were unable to play against the Jazz because Vasquez had been held up dealing with visa issues and was unable to complete his physical in Canada before Wednesday’s game.
Even if the guard had been able to make it in time for the game, Malone said he would not have played his new trio.
"I wouldn’t feel comfortable playing guys that have not gotten at least a shootaround in," he said.
Jazz coach Ty Corbin doesn’t have the same reservation. He called on D-League signing Diante Garrett to play earlier this year just hours after inking a deal with the Jazz. Garrett’s performance helped secure the team’s first win of the season.
— Aaron Falk
Ty may have been a bit more desperate at the time though.
Williams describes the Jazz as "Derrick’s team and Gordon’s team," referring to the squad’s two young captains.
They may be the captains but not sure I would call it their team.
Williams is in the last year of a five-year $37.5 million contract. But at 27 years old and playing in his ninth season, he is one of the team’s most veteran players and it’s becoming increasingly clear that if the Jazz want to win in the present, Williams has to be on the floor.
We'll see. Teams make adjustments. Williams at the 4 is a new wrinkle still.
As he worked his way back from offseason surgery, Williams watched from the bench as the Jazz racked up five straight losses to start the year.
When the Jazz finally won in Game 9, Williams was integral, scoring 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
After a string of losses, Jazz coach Ty Corbin inserted the veteran into the team’s starting lineup and the team won three of its next five games.
So perhaps it wasn’t just coincidence that when his heel flared again, preventing him from playing, the Jazz lost their next four games. And perhaps it was more than just coincidence that when Williams returned to the starting lineup Wednesday night against the Sacramento Kings, the Jazz walked out of Sleep Train Arena with a win.
The numbers back it up: the Jazz are better with Williams on the court. Utah is nearly 14 points better per 100 possessions with the veteran forward on the floor than with him off it.
They also got Burke and Evans back. Inserted Garrett. Moved Burks back to the 2. A lot more going on that just Marvin.
Williams, the No. 2 overall draft pick out of North Carolina in 2005, was drafted after Andrew Bogut and just before Deron Williams and Chris Paul, and spent the early part of his career with the Atlanta Hawks, the subject of criticism.
But in his second year with the Jazz, Williams has embraced a new role.
"When you’re drafted at a certain spot, your expectations and teams’ expectations are different for you," Corbin said. "They compare you to other No. 2s. There was some of that with him, I think. He was a really young guy coming into this league and was put into position where expectations were high.
"From the time he’s been with us, he’s been super."
On a young team struggling to figure out its identity, Williams has helped take charge.
"His role is different on this team without the guys we had last year," Corbin said. "He’s got a bigger role on both ends of the floor. I think he feels the responsibility."
He’s been able to space the floor with his shooting and he’s one of the team’s best communicators on the other end of the court, organizing the team’s defense.
"He’s big for a 3 and he can shoot for a 4," teammate Richard Jefferson said. "He’s a tweener that actually has a position."
Williams is shooting 46.2 percent from the floor — the same number as his career best, which he shot in 2007-08 with the Hawks. His 40.7-percent shooting from 3 is better than he’s ever shot for a season.
Corbin has praised Williams’ contributions outside the lines, too.
"He’s talked about going through a rebuilding process his first few years in Atlanta, struggling to win games and how you have to pay attention to the details," the Jazz coach said. "He’s using that experience to help these guys get through it because he’s been through it."
Williams called the two squads "very similar."
"You had to take a few lumps but we continued to work hard and we became a better team over the years," he said. "I think this Utah team has a really good chance to do that."
Hopefully they have more to show for it than Atlanta does.
Last edited by Xiao Yao You : 12-13-2013 at 08:19 AM.
Ty Lawson was held scoreless. The defense of the Jazz bigs to stay in the paint and take away the driving lines was terrific. The coaching staff has made some nice adjustments that are matching the strengths of this team and it is showing.
Just coming back from injury had nothing to do with it?
The last 4 games the Jazz opponents are 20 of 68 from three point range. Holding teams to 29% from three is awesome and holding teams to 17 attempts a game is impressive. This is all part of the defensive adjustment the coaching staff has made and it is working.
The coaching staff doing something right?
Nice work by Favors in the middle and the other guys to stay to their tasks and get the job done.
Gordon Hayward was big time tonight. Only LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love have had games with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. He also had zero turnovers. He is shooting the ball above last year’s % for the last 7 games. He may be out of his shooting woes and have broken over to the other side. Tomorrow night is a big night because it was the Spurs who unnerved his game by letting him take the mid range shot and he couldn’t knock it down.
Gordon Hayward has 12 points and 3 rebounds in the 4th quarter.
Amazing what a little help can do to help open things up for you.
I thought Derrick Favors was masterful defensively tonight. He controlled the paint. He got back defensively preventing Denver from getting out on the run for most of the game. He was available for the passes in the paint and made strong plays at the rim. He hit 9 of 13 he has hit 39 of his last 61 (64%)
Needs the ball more when he's doing that.
The coaching staff has begun to use I-Pad videos on the bench with players. In Portland they did it with Trey Burke, they used at home in Sacramento as well and tonight they used on bench video for Gordon Hayward.
Jazz went 19 of 20 from the free throw line.
Trey get credit for their improved FT shooting or Marvin?
The opening barrage of three’s was awesome. The Jazz hit 6 three’s in the first quarter. The ball movement was awesome. They had assists on their first 8 baskets of the game. The starting line-up has a vibe in how they are playing together.
In 20 minutes the starting line-up tonight was +15. They are +33 for the season in 108 minutes played. They shot 59.4% from the field 50% from three and scored an insane 52 points in 20 minutes. Their offensive efficiency was off the charts tonight. When they are the floor so far this year they are shooting 51% and 40% from three – their offensive rating is 114 and their defensive rating is 101
Jeremy Evans played key moments down the stretch as Tyrone didn’t sub him out until 3:54 left.
It's good to see him staying with the hot guy. They needed his rebounding.
By that time the Jazz had taken the lead to 94-89
The 2nd quarter has been an offensive issue and it was again this game shooting 8 of 27 but they held the Nuggets to 6 of 21.
The Nuggets were up 4 with 9:00 left when Corbin went back with Jefferson and Hayward. He stayed with Jeremy Evans. Favors made back to back terrific defensive plays and the game was tied. The Jazz scored 26 points in the final 9 minutes of the game. They shot 9 of 15 down the stretch.
Lots of good things happening with the Jazz right now. The coaching staff is making serious adjustments that are working terrifically, the group is coming together, the young point guard has something special to them and they are playing with a belief which is likely the most important item of all.
Since Trey Burke has been starting the Jazz are shooting 45% and 40% from 3 with an offensive rating of 104.1 (pts per 100 posessions). This makes the Jazz the 12th best offensive team since Burke has been in the starting line-up.
BREAKDOWN – The emergence of Alec Burks
Posted on December 13, 2013 by David Locke
The start of the season was nothing short of a nightmare for Alec Burks. He could never find a rtythm. He was shuffled between shooting guard and point guard. He was supposed to be the off the bench scorer. Instead, he became an offensive eye sore where nothing was clicking.
He started out ok before they moved him to the one.
Then the other have of the B and B team, Trey Burke returned to the line-up. Alec got to stay in one position. The coaches have been able to let Alec play in a more natural position and make plays from better spots on the floor.
Over the last 8 games Alec Burks is shooting 52% he is 9 of 13 from three and he is averaging 17 pts 4 rebs and 3 ast.
What has really changed is where the shots are coming from.
prior to this recent stretch 36% of his shots were midrange shots. In the last 8 games it has taken just 16% of his shots from this inefficient area. Moreover, in the last 8 games he has taken 51% of his shots in the restricted area previous to that just 35% in the restricted area.
Not only is Alec making shots he is taking must better shots.
It’s been just over a quarter of the season, and so far Jazz fans have found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. The rock being progress, while the hard place is the upcoming draft. So what is a fan to do? Cheer for your team and still hope they lose? Pretty much.
So how did this happen? Well, the Jazz opened up the season much worse than anyone could have anticipated.
Anyone was that was paying attention to the Lucas and Tinsley combo at the one shouldn't be surprised.
Sure, no one was picking them as a dark horse team of the West, but occasional members of the media had Utah as at least as a League Pass team from time to time. After all, the CORE FOURTM existed! So jumping out to the worst start in franchise history and owning the league-worst record caught all of us by surprise.
When something like that happens, it’s easy to lose hope and go all in on the draft. The Jazz really weren’t showing any signs of promise yet and rather than settling for kind-of-bad, they might as well be REALLY bad. Right? Who knows, maybe Jabari will come knocking?
Then Trey Burke comes back. Suddenly, this team has a little spark in them, winning three out of four games. Who do they think they are, the Spurs? And just like that, Jazz fans find themselves in the current James-Franco/Aron-Ralston-esque dilemma a la 127 Hours. While you could technically call that stretch a “winning streak,” it was anything but that in my opinion. They might win a few games, but they’re far from being a good team. How else can you win three of four and remain in last place? Not this year.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this already, staying in last place takes almost as much effort as fighting for first place. At least from a fan perspective. Each win is bittersweet. Being a fan means cheering for your team through the good times and bad, and herein lies the root of the dilemma. We want to see Burke run as floor general; we want Hayward to become a consistent 20-10 guy
10 assists or boards?
; we want Favors to dominate the paint. But where is the line between watching progress unfold and understanding the need for a true number one option? Even the casual Jazz fan knows that this team needs a key piece in the upcoming draft. If beating the Kings gets in the way of that, then put on your jester outfit and lose to the Kings no matter what it takes.
Speaking of the Kings, the last two games against Sac-Town are perfect examples of this idea. Last Saturday at home, the Jazz showed what they were made of. Other than a botched defensive assignment of, oh I don’t know, guarding a three when you’re up three with only a few seconds to play, the Jazz had that game won. But they were smarter than that. Maybe that assignment wasn’t botched at all: they had the Kings right where they wanted them but decided to hand it over in overtime. I’m totally okay with that kind of loss, actually. We still got four quarters of solid Jazz basketball. We got to see progress and still chalk up the loss tally.
The most recent game in Sacramento, however, was a little heavy handed on the positive side. The Jazz shot lights out and won by a comfortable margin. Every now and then, a win like that is good for morale. It helps steady the ship during a rocky season. But a win against a team like that is really like a double loss. We lose ground in the lottery odds, and they gain ground. The only team that Jazz fans should really want to beat is the Warriors, because the Jazz own GSW’s pick.
With a whopping five wins now, there are a few other examples of smart losses and dumb wins. We battled hard against Portland, even Indiana among others. But what it ultimately comes down to is short term versus long term. Winning feels good in the short term, while losing is the best thing for the long term, despite how counterintuitive that sounds.
It’s a tough pill to swallow. Fans want their team to win, and it will never be easy to cheer for losses. But a little bit of pain right now would potentially alleviate a lot of pain in years to come. For the time being, Jazz fans will simply have to pick their poison.
By no means does either choice make you a bad fan.
In Utah Jazz
Yeah it's funny that everyone wanted them to tank and now all they do is complain that they are losing. I want to see them competitive at least which they have been for the most part of late.
BALANCED EFFORT: The Jazz currently have seven players averaging in double figures in scoring, and Corbin loves it. “From where we are right now, the balance is what we need,” the Jazz coach said. “It will be a different guy on a different night. … The more guys you’re capable of going to while we’re trying to develop, the better off we are because at different times different guys may struggle so the next guy will be going.”
Kanter isn't giving you double figures now though. His numbers are from earlier in the year.
Miami is looking to deal for a young wing player who can score and take some of the load off Dwyane Wade. A few GMs have identified Boston’s Jordan Crawford as a player the Heat will go after in the coming days/weeks. New York Daily News
Marvin would be a good fit I'd think. Can play a couple positions. Hit open shots. Play D. Not sure if they have the players to make it work though?
Utah has won back-to-back games for the second time this year, the first time they've done it on the road. They're 5-5 over their last 10 games. Four of those losses, by the way, came with Marvin Williams out with an injury and Utah also missed Derrick Favors for two of those.
A couple of things from tonight:
• Utah's starting backcourt outscored Denver's starting duo of Ty Lawson and Randy Foye 40-0.
Hard to believe Foye is starting again for a western conference playoff contender.
"That's the whole team," Gordon Hayward, who had 30 of those points for the Jazz, said of the defensive effort. "That's everybody. Especially on a guy like Ty who can get in the lane and really create for himself an others. What a team effort. That might not happen the rest of the season for them so that was huge for us."
Lawson was also coming off a hamstring injury that kept him out of Denver's previous two games and Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said it showed.
"He just looked rusty," Shaw said. "I don't think he's injured. I don' think he trusted his speed. I don't think he ever got to fifth gear at all. I was just trying to stay with him and hope that he got to a point where he did something positive and got something to go for him to help his confidence. He seemed a little reluctant to attack."
That was the difference. He's easily their best player with Gallanari out.
• Shaw, meanwhile, blamed himself for letting the Jazz take over in the fourth.
"It was probably my fault at that point," the first-year head coach said. "… I saw us kind of starting to sputter out. Timofey [Mozgov] was tired; he had been in there for a while. Nate [Robinson] was tired and I probably should have used a timeout then. I was trying to get to that TV timeout without having to use mine. We had about two or three bad possessions in a row where we got absolutely nothing and I think that kind of turned the tide."
• Hayward had 30 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. For what it's worth, the four other players who have hit or exceeded those numbers in a game this season: LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and LeBron James.
• Trey Burke didn't shoot well tonight. He was just 3 of 12 from the floor. But he had six points in the fourth to finish with 10 points and 10 assists, the second double-double of his career.
He'll keep shooting. That's one thing we know about him!
• While the Nuggets went just 14 of 24 from the free throw line, the Jazz hit 19 of their 20 attempts.
• The Jazz victory snapped Denver's six-game home winning streak.
Everything that happens when you play the Spurs happens on purpose. They force you to take certain shots, they get the shots they want. They don’t offensive rebound so they cut off your transition and they defensive rebound at the highest of levels. Tonight the Jazz got 8 offensive rebounds on 52 chances incredibly low.
The Jazz did a good job of getting out and running for a while and they had 15 1st half fast break. The Spurs had played 4 games in 5 nights but that didn’t cause them the slightest problem.
Gordon Hayward had a better night tonight against the Spurs which is important. It was the last time when the Spurs gave Gordon the open looks he couldn’t knock down and tonight he played a much better game. This should propel him forward. Hayward is officially out of his slump and has a rhythm to his game.
Thank you Trey.
Trey Burke offensively had a nice game. His mid range jumper was very good. He made the looks the Spurs were daring him to take. He had a tough time with Tony Parker just like the rest of the league has for the last decade. Trey is way ahead offensively. He is also behind defensively. It is still a process.
Jeremy Evans had 11 rebounds . Another huge rebounding game for JE and he only played 20 minutes. Most importantly 7 of them came on the defensive end.
Definitely good to see. Looks like maybe those starts toughened him up.
Enes Kanter is not good right now. Coach Phil was dismayed by the open cutters he missed on two occasions. Kanter still has all the skills that he has shown in the last three years but he had the shoulder injury, he has limited experience and right now it is off kilter. No different than any of the other guys he has to keep plugging and when he comes out the other side he will be much better for it but in the meantime it is a bummer and you feel for him. He will be ok.
And on another team.
The Spurs are really special. They play the game at a really detailed level.
Jazz defense tonight was not awful. They held a 50% shooting team to 47%. They held a 40% three point shooting team to 40% and they only allowed 20 three attempts. That is a few more than they did the last few games but this is a much better team and a team that takes more than Sac or Denver.
The more I look at this game. Nothing to be too concerned with.
Other than the fact that the Jazz talent might not be as good as most hoped.
The Spurs are a much better team than Utah, they are championship caliber. The effort was good, the opponent was just too good.
Jazz and Spurs tied tonight at 32 in the 18 minutes the Jazz starters were on the floor
SALT LAKE CITY — The most recent action Rudy Gobert and Ian Clark got in an NBA arena came Friday after shootaround when the Utah Jazz rookies had to shag basketballs that’d been punted into the Pepsi Center seats by older teammates.
Neither player has seen much time on the court, though.
That will change beginning today when the first-year pros get a new opportunity to get all sorts of playing time — in the D-League.
On Saturday, the Jazz assigned Gobert and Clark to their affiliate, the Bakersfield Jam. The center and shooting guard should be in uniform Sunday afternoon when the D-League squad travels to Nevada to play the Reno Bighorns.
Now that the Jazz have 15 healthy players on their roster, management decided it’d be best to give the rarely used rookies some experience instead of keeping them at the end of the bench.
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said the main things he wants for Gobert and Clark is “to play, get some time on the floor to play, play extended minutes and learn.”
While the rookies head to the D-League, their NBA teammates will be on a five-game Southeastern tour in Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte and Memphis.
The Jazz traded for Gobert, a French center, on the night of the June draft after he was selected 27th overall by Denver. The 7-foot-1 center has averaged 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 points and 0.8 blocks in 10.7 minutes during 17 appearances.
Clark, a Belmont University product, went undrafted but was signed by the Jazz shortly after he was named MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League. The 6-3 shooting guard has only played in eight games (2.8 ppg).
The Jazz had only sent six other players to the D-League before this move for Gobert and Clark.
Incidentally, Jazz point guard Diante Garrett was called up from the Iowa Energy last month after playing for the Jam last season.
D-League games can be viewed on the league's YouTube channel or at NBA.com/dleague. The Bakersfield-Reno game tips off at 4 p.m. MST Sunday.
About time! I'm guessing it might just be during the road trip when they don't have much practice time. That's what O'Conner liked to do. Gobert should dominate down there defensively and on the boards. He needs to get used to the physicality and be able to stay out of foul trouble and work on his offensive game. Clark needs to play at a very high level just to show he's worth keeping around after his guarantee runs out.
Last edited by Xiao Yao You : 12-15-2013 at 03:16 AM.